Letter from the Director

Sara Slymon | June 12, 2020
Black Lives Matter sign held proudly in the air

Dear Brookline Community:

This has been one of the most challenging times in American history, with a global pandemic and the recent murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, which have sparked widespread protest. We understand that many of you in our community are grieving the loss of a friend or loved one to COVID-19, and we all grieve for the wounds in our nation. We grieve with you.

Black Lives Matter. The library staff and the Board of Library Trustees have committed time and resources to continue our anti-racism and Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion trainings, which we have been working hard on for the last six years. Dismantling white supremacy and systemic and institutional racism is valuable work, and long overdue.

At the library, we are committed to providing you with the resources to learn how you can help. Even in this time of the pandemic, we have been here to serve you with ongoing programming, an increase in digital resources, and chat and email reference. We have been working with our Collection Development Team and our vendors to ensure that anti-racism resources, already in high demand, will be purchased in quantities that enable patrons to get them in a timely manner. We are grateful to be able to provide extensive resources on Black Lives Matter and anti-racism here, and if you would like to see an additional list of resources you can use to educate yourself on current anti-racism issues, please use this link to the Boston Public Library.

The PLB had embarked upon diversity surveys of our collections shortly before we shut down for COVID-19 to ensure that we were providing a full set of perspectives across race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, ability, religion, and nationality. Additionally, we were about half way through our “De-Colonizing Dewey” project in order to provide accurate, diverse, equitable, and inclusive cataloging.

We were honored that Stand Up Brookline chose to finish their march on Saturday, June 6, 2020 at the Brookline Village location of the Public Library of Brookline. Peaceful protest and intellectual freedom go hand in hand.

All of us at the Public Library of Brookline are grateful for our community, and wish you all the best for a healthy and peaceful summer.

Sincerely,

Sara F Slymon
Library Director